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Asbestos production quantities: how much asbestos was produced? This article describes the total quantity of asbestos that was mined and shipped world-wide, listing asbestos production by quantity and giving additional detail by asbestos type.
This articles series about the manufacture & use of asbestos-containing products includes detailed information on the production methods, asbestos content, and the identity and use of asbestos-containing materials.
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The method of mining, milling, and processing asbestos depends on the type of asbestos being handled as well as such specific physical characteristics as soft versus harsh fiber. Since chrysotile fiber accounts for approximately 95 per cent of all the asbestos used, this discussion will pertain to Canadian chrysotile.
Photo at left illustrates Crocidolite asbestos under the microscope, photo by Daniel Friedman while at McCrone Research Institute. [Click to enlarge any image]
For a satisfactory mining operation, the content of fiber in the rock should range from 3 to 12 per cent. Such variables as availability of labor, transportation facilities, and size of the deposit determine whether or not a low asbestos content mine will be a profitable operation.
Separately at ASBESTOS MINING & PROCESSING we describe how asbestos ores were mined & prepared for use in fabrication procedures that used asbestos fibers or other asbestos material.
Table 1.3 below gives the total world production of all types of asbestos by countries for the year 1956.
Table 1.4 below gives similar statistics to Table 1.3 for the amphibole fibers only.
In Table 1.5 (below) we show how the Canadian growth of asbestos exports from 1946 to 1955 was reported.
Table 1.6 below gives percentages of chrysotile world production and Canadian shipments for the year 1954.
Asbestos, Its Industrial Applications - Rosato: Text& Chapter Index 
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Web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/verm_questions.html
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